Czech Republic / Monument

​​Commemorative plaque to the Kučera family




The Kučera family (Marie Kučerová, Vojtěch Kučera and their daughter Věra Kučerová), were part of the Czech Resistance. They helped the air drops from the United Kingdom – Anthropoid, Silver and Out Distance – in setting up the Operation Canonbury. They were executed at Mauthausen Concentration Camp on 24 October 1942. A commemorative plaque at this location honours their memory.

​​The Anthropoid Silver and Out Distance air drops were sent from the United Kingdom and organised by the exiled Czech Government in London. They used British aircraft crew and Czech paratroopers, with the help of Resistance on the ground.

Operation Canonbury was a bombing raid on the Škoda armaments factory in Pilsen. The Kučera family assisted the mission by indicating the location of the factory plants by setting fire to a nearby barn and haystacks.

The bombing of the Škoda plant was planned in such a way to minimise loss of human life as far as possible. The date of the attack was therefore chosen from Saturday to Sunday, 25 to 26 April 1942, when the presence of factory workers was minimal. The plan was carried out with the help of members of the Vašek-Čeněk Resistance group; medical student Václav Rusý, Law student Vítězslav Dvořák, Karl Prokop and Václav Honomichl. Škoda factory engineer Tomáš Nágl, and Škoda plant officials Milena Dubská and Vlasta Koželská also took part in the mission. The alarm siren system was disabled before the raid, and factory workers were warned. However, the long-awaited event, supported by the domestic Resistance, failed.

The plan was therefore repeated the next month. However, when the exiled Czech Government in London requested that similar measures to minimise civilian casualties be taken by the paratroopers, one of the air drops’ commanders refused, saying he did not want to expose the paratroopers to further risk. On the night of 4 to 5 May 1942, the British planes appeared again, but no one indicated their target for them. The whole event turned out like the previous one, with minimal results.

The Kučera family were arrested for their involvement in the mission. During the interrogations they were submitted to, they refused to give up any information. Thanks to their silence, Marie Žilanová, employed by the Kučera family as a saleswoman since 1935, was saved. She had taken part in field research the day before the raid.

On 24 October 1942, the Kučera family were murdered in Mauthausen Concentration Camp. Věra was killed at 08:52, her mother Marie two minutes later, and Vojtěch at 16:52.

​​Resslova 202/4​, 301 00, Pilsen